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Vision X Lighting: Lighting Designs for a Global Base
Tony Georgitsis founded Vision X Lighting (VX) in 1997, launching a global presence in lighting manufacturing from the company’s first office in Kent, Wash. Georgitsis attended the University of Puget Sound after moving from South Africa to Seattle to stay with his uncle and study, then he got into business immediately out of college. “I’ve always had a brain for business,” explains Georgitsis. “So that was the natural next step.”
“We started in the car stereo business,” he continues. “Recognizing the limitations of retail stores, we decided to grow vertically instead of horizontally. We became an importer and put a brand name on them, and we were driven to design new projects. We morphed into a manufacturer from a pure importer.” VX has grown into a major supplier for mining and automotive industries, with products in cars, all-terrain vehicles, construction machinery and even airplanes.
VX started selling halogen lights in 1997, and around 2001 a demand for high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights encouraged the VX team to work with a company in Korea. “It was the first MFG outside of Philips,” says Georgitsis. “We did the retrofit kits with them and developed a great relationship so we ended up merging the companies. In the U.S. we’re doing all of the development and engineering, and team handles product development and worldwide sales, as well as the marketing.” The VX factory is located in Seoul, South Korea, and is responsible for keeping up with the manufacturing demands of the growing company.
After pushing through new and safer HID lights, VX took off. The team began developing an off-road division, followed by a wave of new divisions. By 2006 all of VX’s lighting products were being made in house. “Right now mining and automotive are our big markets,” reports Georgitsis. “Potential clients from the aerospace industry and the movie business have come to us, but we don’t do much unless we can commit to the industry.”
The business’ innovative and diverse capabilities have driven VX into international markets making it a global leader in lighting solutions. “We’re selling on every continent in 127 countries,” elaborates Georgitsis. “The U.S. is our largest market, followed by Australia for our mining division and then Scandinavia. We’re all over Europe. We’re in Russia, Africa and the Middle East. We are everywhere.”
Lighting the Way
VX continues to grow, but not without obstacles. “There are always growing pains,” explains Georgitsis. “The biggest challenge by far is cash flow. There are tax codes on growing companies. The key is to manage your cash flow and maintain an advantage with your expertise. We have the same leadership team that we started with in 2003, so education is key.”
According to Georgitsis, the VX team is young, but dedicated. “Keeping the same guys is part of our company culture,” he says. “Most of our 20 United States employees have been here for over 10 years. We’ve created an atmosphere that keeps the job interesting. Our employees have to have a winning attitude and click with our culture. For a lot of our guys, this was their first job out of school.”
It is the same dedicated team that keeps VX cruising along, growing steadily and creating useful, innovative new products and lines. Recent projects and lines include LED lights, which are rapidly gaining popularity worldwide for brightness and energy efficiency. The team is also putting together a new line of industrial lights.
“It’s for structural applications warehouses or drag line machines for the mines,” describes Georgitsis. “It’s called the PitMaster series for that reason. We’ve also introduced the Solstice Prime series. It uses 10-watt LEDs and has a huge lumen output. There’s a built-in thermal management system that keeps the lights from overheating.” The system also incorporates a chip that controls brightness and pulse.
The team is not celebrating any anniversaries in the near future, but VX has reached a major milestone. “We just bought a new distribution facility,” says Georgitsis. “It’s a 34,000-square foot location that’s going to give us the room we need for growth. We’d like to reach $100 million in revenue in the next three year, so we are investing in space, tools and patents now to get there.”
Equally important to the business’ growth is maintaining major customers. “I call it the 20-80 rule,” Georgitsis lays out. “About 20 percent of our customers make up 80 percent of our business. They have partners all over the world, so our relationships with every branch are extremely important. We see our major customers six times a year. We like to make up at least five percent of our customers’ business, but we’re usually more. We’re always working to build long term relationships.”
The VX team is constantly striving to provide the best service and highest quality products in the business. With well-honed expertise and a drive to hang onto the market, the company is growing at a rapid pace. Vision X Lighting utilizes technology, creativity and a focus on customer relations to push unusual products in a growing number of industries.